In this article, I discuss the fifth and sixth characteristics of pornography addiction.
- It is used to Escape Negative Feelings. Here is where we often hear the term “self-medicating.” Addicts often use pornography as a coping strategy to deal with deep emotional pain. Often they don’t even realize the pain is there or that they are using pornography to cope with it. All they know is that pornography makes them feel really good and that they must go back to it over and over again. The fact that they cannot feel good without pornography is an indication that there is a deep emotional wound that they are using pornography to anesthetize. Most addicted people are introduced to pornography early in life. When they are, a little voice deep down inside says, “Hey, this makes us feel good and forget about our pain. This is a great escape. Let’s keep going back to this.” Because the effects of pornography are temporary, one must go back to it over an over again to keep their pain at bay. This is what fuels the addiction.
What issue(s) do you think you might have used pornography to self-medicate?
- It is justified by the Concept of “Entitlement.” Many people who use pornography do so out of a sense of entitlement. This often stems from narcissism and/or anger. Narcissism is a great problem in our society today. More and more, people are committed to focusing on their own wants and needs with little regard to how their actions affect others. Thus, the man who had a rough day at work might come home and feel entitled to view porn as a way to relax despite how it may hurt his wife. Addicts may also feel entitled to use pornography out of anger. Whether he is angry with his wife, boss, friends or God, the addict may feel entitled to view porn to “cool off.”
What did you tell yourself/others to justify using pornography?
Next week I will focus on characteristics seven and eight:
- It is Used as a Reward.
- It Provides a Feeling of Power.